Sri Lanka have forever been trying to recapture the glory of their 1996 one-day team, and on Saturday, that quest took a new turn. When Kusal Perera was dismissed at the end of the fourth over, a right-hander named de Silva joined an aggressive left-hander named Jayasuriya at the crease. Dhananjaya and Shehan did not quite produce performances worthy of their great namesakes, but were nevertheless involved in a 29-run stand that helped settle the innings after two early losses.
The sneaky three
This has been that rare tour in which Sri Lanka's fielding was more shambolic than Pakistan's. Although Sri Lanka have been electrified in the field by the influx of youth in the T20s, the team still managed a moment of comedy in the seventh over of Pakistan's innings. Umar Akmal pushed the ball just to the right of Tillakaratne Dilshan whose throw was not cleanly gathered at the bowler's end. The batsmen took another run as a result. When the ball was picked up somewhere near cover, the next throw was sent at the striker's stumps. It found the wickets alright, but Akmal was well in his crease, and quickly set out for a third run as the deflection dribbled off towards Dilshan at point again.
Binura Fernando had a modest outing on debut, but he began this match with a bang - or should that be a Boom Booom? Binura sent down an offcutter in his second over to beat Ahmed Shehzad's swipe across the line. What made the wicket particularly memorable was that when the bails went flying, he parked himself on the middle of the pitch, faced the dressing rooms, splayed his legs lightly and held his arms aloft, index finger pointing away from his body. It was an exact imitation of Shahid Afridi's star-man pose, only, while it is Afridi's charisma that makes him seem larger than life, Binura is literally close to seven feet tall.
The triple take
When Dilshan struck a four through midwicket immediately after being dropped in the same region by Mohammad Hafeez, Pakistan seemed to have made a costly error. But undeterred by the boundary, Anwar Ali bowled the same ball again to Dilshan, who of course attempted the same shot for the third time in a row. This time, though, the ball was slower than he expected and the catch which went straight to Hafeez again, was gobbled up without incident.